Thursday, July 25, 2024

Downtown Wilmington blockchain tech company will turn renewable energy into cryptocurrency

When renewable energy sources like solar power create more electricity than users need, it goes back into the grid and users get a rebate. A new company would turn that excess electricity into at tradeable cryptocurrency, instead.

KWHCoin, a blockchain technology company that transfers excess renewable energy into a cryptocurrency, has announced it will begin leasing office space in downtown Wilmington. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Google Maps)
KWHCoin, a blockchain technology company that transfers excess renewable energy into a cryptocurrency, has announced it will begin leasing office space in downtown Wilmington. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Google Maps)

WILMINGTON—Blockchain software technology will get a physical presence in downtown Wilmington with KWHCoin, a new company focused on turning solar and other renewable energy into a virtual currency.

A little over one year old, KWHCoin, short for kilowatt-hour coin, is comprised of Pender County natives. The company will set up shop in the Harrelson Building.

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Digital currency

Monica Shepard, KWHCoin’s project director, said the company could be the area’s first cryptocurrency company using blockchain — the same technology that makes bitcoin possible.

“As far as we are aware we are the first ones here in Wilmington,” Shepard said.

Derived from excess energy generated from solar panels, electric vehicles or other forms of renewable power, a kilowatt-hour can be tokenized into a single KWHCoin. A kilowatt-hour is the amount of energy used by a 1000-watt appliance over the course of an hour. For example, the average laundry dryer uses about around 3 kilowatts per load of laundry.

Video: Here’s how KWHCoin works. (Courtesy KWHCoin)

Both private and public entities have the ability to generate excess kilowatt-hours,

“Any excess energy, if you don’t have the extra battery storage, goes back to the main grid,” Shepard said. “You have the option in this platform, instead of getting it in the form of a credit from your energy provider, you can sell it to your neighbor.”

KWHCoin’s mobile application is 50 percent complete. When the company’s system is buzzing, it could empower individuals to become energy providers at a competitive rate.

“What we consider ourselves is not necessarily competing, but we’re assisting in putting more renewable energy on the platform,” Shepard said. “It assists in lowering the pressure that’s on the grid.”

Exchange of energy

KWHCoins are currently being traded by early coin holders on three exchanges: Bitfinex, TOPBTC and CoinX.

Though the mobile application portion of KWHCoin has not yet launched, KWHCoins are backed by 9,000 kilowatt-hours.

“The idea behind blockchain technology is peer to peer,” Shepard said. “It’s to cut out the intermediary and go back to what it used to be. That puts more control into the consumer as well as the one who is actually doing the selling.”

For more information on this new technology, visit KWHCoin’s website.


Send tips to Johanna Ferebee at johanna@localvoicemedia.com or follow Johanna on Twitter @j__ferebee

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